First off: Merry Christmas!!! We had an absolutely wonderful Christmas; just the right amount of gifts without going overboard and the boys were excited and grateful for all of their gifts this morning. This will be John’s first Christmas of memory I’m sure. It was priceless to watch his little eyes take it all in at the sight of the tree and presents. As my parents did, we didn’t put anything under it until Christmas Eve. So magical.
Last night we went to Christmas Eve service, where Brendon belted out a few tunes from center stage. Literally. And he most definitely is not a natural born singer. Sad to say. Luckily, he has other talents. I left trying to wrap my mind around the impression Vance and I give off. Do we seem glaringly unchurched? or Maybe strictly holiday attenders? Not that it bothers me all that much, since we do miss often for conflicting commitments, but it strikes me each holiday when people say “Thanks for visiting US” or like last night, Carol practically dove out into the aisle at me to introduce herself, wondering if we went to church there. Vance thought I knew her by the bee line she made to get to me. I’d like to think it was my new purse she was hoping to get a better look at, but honestly, I think it’s me. I guess it’s such a contradiction to those who know me from my youth. I was the picture of “churchy”; largely due to constant verbal evangelizing no doubt.
At any rate, what is Christmas without food? Sweets top our list of holiday fare, which lead to two new experiments. I know, I just can’t help myself. Nutella Hot Chocolate and Gluten Free Cake.
First off Nutella Hot Chocolate, recipe found here, was fantastic! I added a heavy dose of ceylon cinnamon and it tasted very reminiscent of the Mexican hot chocolate wedges, which the commissary here does not carry.
As for the gluten free cake…. it was okay. Not terrible, but not great either. It was really crumbly and had an almost grainy sandy texture. I used a tried and true, Red Velvet Cake recipe, found here, so it was definitely the flour change. Can’t say I do that again, although the boys did eat it without complaints. For the frosting, I use a modified cream cheese frosting, adding more butter than most call for. I find it a better balance on the cream cheese flavor.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 stick butter
8oz cream cheese
5 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
And now, the cake is paying me back by keeping John awake. He’s stationed at his door crying and saying, “You eeep me!!” over and over. I guess I better go see if I can sooth his sugared soul.